Sunday, June 2, 2013

Two Cards Inspired by A Perfect Evening

Yesterday evening, the hubs and I were sitting on our deck sipping wine (a delightful Argentinian Malbec blend) and reading books. We bought our house as much for the lot (1.75 acres) and the deck as the house. The covered deck is high above our back yard and faces east, which means that after noon, it's completely shaded and a wonderful place to sit and listen to birds and water babbling in the creek hidden by the vegetation on the right side of the yard.

It's our little bit of heaven on earth, really.

Please excuse the bare patches in the lawn. We put this lawn in last summer in drought conditions. Under the circumstances, it looks amazing. Hopefully by next year, it really will be amazing.

Anyway, we were sitting on the deck and a cold front started to move through from the west, with wind gusts up to 35 miles per hour. We were protected from the wind by the house, but the leaves all around us rustled continuously.

It sounded for all the world like ocean waves to me.

I love the sound of ocean waves. So relaxing. So peaceful. Right there in my back yard were forest bird calls (including a nesting woodpecker pair), leaves rustling, and waves hitting a sandy shore. Oh. My. Goodness.

So today, I made a couple of cards inspired by our evening on the deck.

First up is the breezy day. The sentiment is from A Muse, the tree from Papertrey (Through the Trees), the pair of leaves from Papertrey (Father Knows Best), and the grassy hill from Hero Arts (Horizontal Graphics, discontinued). The green is StampinUp's green galore, stamped both full strength and off-stamped to add some depth and sense of movement. The trunk and sentiment are stamped with SU Sahara sand.

To kick the card up a notch, I rounded two corners to add more sense of movement and randomly added glitter to leaves with a Quickie Glue Pen. Because GLITTER!!!

Now for the ocean. This Kate Chopin quotation is wonderful, and from Impression Obsession. I have had it for years and have no idea if it's still available. I wanted it to be the focal point of the card.

The ocean waves are a swish stamp from Hero Arts Horizontal Graphics (discontinued)...the same stamp I used for the hill on the tree card. I stamped it repeatedly in full-strength Memento Bahama blue and then inked, off-stamped (once or twice), huffed, and stamped on the card until I liked the results.

This was my second attempt. The first one got too busy-looking.

Note that I didn't round two corners here. There's plenty of movement on this card without rounding anything.

If you've stuck with me this long, I have a question to ask. Do you tend to stick to occasion cards, or do you at least occasionally make cards using whatever wonderful quotations or sentiments you have that suit your mood?

Neither of these cards is for an "occasion." I make very few of these types of cards anymore, mainly because so many of mine go to OWH and they generally want occasion cards.

I'll send the ocean card to my mother because she'll love it. The life's a breeze card will be harder to'll have to go to someone who's experiencing good fortune. It can't go to OWH because of the glitter and because deployed service members aren't exactly experiencing life as a breeze, nor are their families.

How do you feel about this subject? Do you ever make a card just because or do you stick to occasion cards?

supplies are listed above under the cards


  1. These cards are wonderful. I particularly like the second. The waves are just fabulous both in shape and color. You are so creative. I mostly make occasion cards, but occasionally I do make one "just because." In fact , I made two just because cards this week. They were fun to make :)

  2. Lovely cards! I loved your sitting on the deck story, too. We all need moments like that often. I try to make a card a day, and they are often are made for no real occasion. I love to make cards and love to experiment with them.

  3. With the size of my family, it's difficult to make "just because" cards. I will say that I did make some to send to the little ones in Mpls. because I think of them so often. The baby's cards says "grammy's little dear" with a sweet fawn on the front. Your cards are dreamy. So calm and soft. Really sweet. Bev

  4. Fabulous cards!! Love them both :) Great back yard too - the mowing would have me going "ugh" but the enjoyment factor would over ride it :) I go heavy on the occasion sentiments but also use others.

  5. I don't have many "just because" sentiments (must fix that), but I do send cards to my grandson and nieces every so often for no reason. Most of my cards are birthday, though. I need to find a pen-pal :-)

    Sarah (Kegbo)

  6. Nice cards! I find that these general cards don't get used much, so I do that kind of stuff in my art journal rather than make a card.

  7. Love both cards ... the sentiments and the waves! I do make cards with quotes .... I have 2 daughters studying overseas and it's a great way to send encouragement, wisdom and fun.

  8. hi,
    I do make occasioncards to sell reguraly. I make more cards just for the pleasure of making them. I do not have many sentiment-stamps because most are in english and that is not my language. I do handwrite the sentiments/quotes. And you know what... more and more people come to buy my just-because-cards.

    love both of your cards in this post.

  9. Hi

    I love both cards....great idea for the waves! And whats best is i think i have that stamp too!

    I usually make cards on order or for challenges

    Thanks for sharing
    Shamela :-)

  10. so much inspiration on your blog! ty

  11. Both of your cards are Very Pretty!!!

  12. I loved hearing about your breezy evening and it's card inspirations. I make so many cards for charity, but I love making "just because" cards that are a little burst of what I am feeling (or seeing). It is all good! Thanks for all the beautiful creativity!

  13. Beautiful cards and your deck sounds divine! I can't remember the last time I made a card "just cuz".

  14. Love how your inspiration turned in to cards. I make Just Because cards because I love quotes (including the Kate Chopin). I almost always find someone to send them to. And if anything, I use them as an excuse to just send a note to someone. I consider it a chance to make someone's day for the price of a stamp. Have a terrific day.

  15. Ahhh, your deck sounds idyllic :) Wonderful cards, especially love the "life's a breeze" :)
    I probably tend to make "occasion cards", if the truth be known!

  16. LOVE the ocean card! It could be used for an encouragement card also! Great inspired cards!

  17. Thanks for posting the photo of your beautiful backyard - wonderful vista of trees! I have a small city lot which is my little piece of heaven full of shrubs and flowers and vegetables, and as much as I love it, I do envy you your 1.75 acres and the space to have big trees!

    Love both your cards, but especially the second one with that fabulous quote. In answer to your question, mostly I make Christmas cards and birthday cards, but I have bought a bunch of the wonderful Kay Foley sentiment stamps and I frequently make cards out of them - they are not occasion-specific. If you're not familiar with them, here's a link to them:

    (Forgive me if I sent this link to you before - I know I sent it to someone recently but can't remember if it was you.)

  18. I very often make cards with no real occasion in mind. I actually have more fun making those kind of cards than ones for a specific person for a specific reason. I try to leave the card "open" so it can be used in a pinch for a birthday or anniversary.

    Making some cards for OWH is fun too. I don't make as many as I'd like just because of time constraints and the cost of envelopes.

    I think I have some "confidence" issues when it comes to making cards for family and friends. I always feel they might not think it's "good enough" so I guess that's why making any old kind of card is easier and more fun!

  19. I make occasion cards when my stash for a particular genre gets low. The rest of the time I make cards with quotes or just cool cards with no words at all! I can always turn them into occasion cards if I need to by adding a sentiment inside.

  20. I really like how you used that Hero Arts stamp to make the ocean. I was so fortunate to get a never used set at my LSS's trash or treasure sale right after I saw you use it a year or so ago. One of the best $2.00 deals I ever got! LOL!

    I make both kinds of cards and really prefer making "just because" cards. But, since I never end up getting as many cards made as I would like, I do end up making more occasion cards than the ones I would prefer to make. I have a lot of scripture stamps and I have always loved collecting quotes that are meaningful to me so I love using those on "just because" cards. And even before I lived in the west, I always loved all things western and southwestern, so when I started stamping, I started collecting western stamps and love using them to make cards that are for no specific occasion.

  21. I pretty much stick to occasions. Sometimes, when a card doesn't really tell me what kind of card it wants to be, I'll just leave it blank and stick it in the "multi-occasion" section of the shoe box. I can always add a sentiment to it later, if need be. I have mostly avoided stamps that are quotes because I don't think I'm likely to use them much, but they do work well on other items such as bookmarks.

    P.S. the waves are super cool!

  22. I make both. The occasion cards get made close to the specific occasion. I always have plans of having some made ahead of time but find I really need to know who it is going to in order to get it done. I am always on the 'look out' for quotes or sayings that speak. Many are sent to my grandson at college to encourage him and let him know we are thinking of him. I really enjoy sending the 'encouragement' card as they are unexpected and to me that makes them special.
    Lu C

  23. I'm sure you've heard this many times, but I love reading your blog just as much as I love seeing your creations. Your description of your backyard oasis sounds wonderfully serene. We had a deck overlooking the creek and an acre of woods when we lived in Ohio, but that was one of the things we had to give up when we moved to Eastern MA. I haven't used that tree image from PTI nearly enough, and I love how you created movement and glittered some of the leaves. But your wave card really speaks to me. What a clever use of that stamp!


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